The awful truth
Doll Asylum is brought to you by a local Portland family, recently moved to Astoria Oregon - Mark, Heidi, Janick and Scullie - who love Halloween, got an idea from the neighbor girls across the street (Thank you neighbor girls), took 300.00 to Goodwill and were off and running. Over the past 10 years we have grown to over 1000 dolls, many donated by visitors and friends, and over 5000 visitors to the 2016 open house.
We get many questions about Doll Asylum. Below is a list of our frequently asked questions. Please feel free to use our contact form if you still want to know more.
Why we moved
We moved to take care of Heidi's father, who lives at the Oregon Coast and was unable to move to Portland. Not wanting to give up Doll Asylum, we looked for a house where we could continue our Halloween fun, and were successful. The new Doll Asylum will be different, older and creepier.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there are charge to visit Doll Asylum? - No - there is no charge to visit, it is completely free.
2. What is Doll Asylum? - Doll Asylum is a Halloween open house that is a cross between a haunted house and a creepy doll museum. Much more low key than a traditional haunted house, the Doll Asylum is more creepy dolls and toys on display for you to peruse at your own pace.
3. How haunted/creepy/gory is it? We tend to emphasize humor and creepy over gore, however we do have some very gory displays. The way the open house is setup, it is very easy to 'self edit', and nothing jumps out or attacks guests like in traditional haunted houses.
4. How long does it take to visit Doll Asylum? Because it is a walk through open house, you can visit in as little as 15 minutes, or you are welcome to stay for hours if you like. The average guest stays about 45 minutes to 1 hour, including the time to enjoy cookies, coffee and cider.
5. Is Doll Asylum OK for kids? As always, parents know their kids better than anyone, so it is for you to make the judgement based on the pictures on the website. Again, we do set up the open house so the gory stuff as at the back, but we recommend parents err on the side of caution when bringing children.
6. Can kids come by themselves? Look, no one wants a phone call from an angry parent, so we request that kids under the age of 16 be accommanied by an adult.
7. Is Doll Asylum handicap accessable? If you are at all familiar with Astoria, you know about the hills and stairs. Unfortunately we have 7 stairs on both entrances of the house, but we will try to accommodate all visitors.
8. Where do you get all the dolls? Various sources - but now mostly from fans. Our original dolls came from thrift stores, friends, Goodwill, and 75 antique dolls that were my mothers when she was a child.
9. What does your mother think? She loved it when she was still alive. She got to see all her childhood dolls once a year, lovingly put on display and enjoyed by 100's of people. How many other older women get to say that?
10. Can I give you my dolls? YES! ABSOLUTELY! We accept donations of any kind. If you have dolls that are special to you, and you don't know what to do with them because they are broken, cracked, dirty or just downright creepy, Doll Asylum would love to take care of them for you. And of course, you are welcome to visit them every year. You can donate dolls at any time throughout the year by leaving them on our front porch, or bringing them with you to the open house. Truthfully, the best thing in life is opening the door to a pile of creepy dolls.
11. Can I give you my dolls even if I don't live in the Portland area? YES! If you live elsewhere in the country or world, we still may be able to accept your donation and compensate you for all or a portion of the shipping. If you have dolls to donate, and they would need to be shipped, please email photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with the information on where you live and approximate shipping costs. We'll let you know if you can accept your inmate.
12. Are you artists? No. Maybe. Not really. We just really, really, really like Halloween.
13. Is your house like this all year? No. We start decorating in September and usually have everything setup by mid-October, so it takes about a month. It all comes down in 3 days. Seriously, drive back by the house 3 days later and it's gone.
14. Where do you store all the dolls? That is a secret.
15. Why? Because, Portland. and now - Because, Astoria. Which is way cool.
16. Why did we cancel the 2020 open house? Due to the spread of Covid-19 and the fact that we live with an 81 year old who is missing a kidney (dolls took it in the night) we felt we could not take the risk of exposing our household. Also, Fuck 2020.